Christmas Island chaos: Kiwi detainee says rioters tired of being treated like animals

Another major riot has broken out overnight at the detention centre on Australia's Christmas Island, which one detainee says has caused millions of dollars in damage.

Many Kiwis were involved in the riot which they say is because of frightful conditions, far worse than prison.

"We're sick and tired of them treating us like shit in this place," a detainee says in footage of the riot supplied to Newshub.

Frustrated and angry detainees videoed the damage they caused last night - one year exactly after the last big riot here.

The images show buildings burnt and countless windows smashed among the damage to buildings and property. 

"The riot was full-on last night until midnight," says detainee Sosefo Tuuta.

Tuuta says the riots started because of the constantly changing unfair rules at the Australian detention centre. He says they are treated like animals.

"They lock us in here for 24 hours, if we miss the gym time for one minute, they don't take us to the gym," he explained. "Even your dog isn't going to eat the kind of food they cook in here."

Over 50 detainees, many New Zealanders, were involved in hours of rioting.

"All this damage is going to cost millions and millions," Tuuta says.

Christmas Island is the Australian government's holding pen for refugees and other foreigners awaiting deportation.

Many don't get out for years and can't see their families or children the entire time.

"The rules and stuff are worse than prison. In prison you have freedom; here, you have no freedom," Tuuta says.

A long-time campaigner for the New Zealand detainees says she is worried.

"To me, when a riot happens in a detention centre, it's one of the last resort signs of how frustrated, overwhelmed and at breaking point people are," Iwi n Aus co-founder Filipa Payne says.

Newshub contacted the Australian Border Force to ask about the conditions and what is happening with the detainees involved in the riot, but they didn't respond.

"Let's get people out of detention centres, treat them with decency and treat them with a system where everybody is happy," says Tuuta.

"At the end of the day we're all human."

He says the riots won't stop until things change.